Hau’oli Makahiki Hou

I stumbled across the above video while playing with my new Christmas present – a Roku video thingie.

I wanted the Roku so that I could watch streaming Netflicks on my television rather than on the laptop.  While I understand it also had “channels” – I didn’t think on that too much.  The channels are a heap big bunch of fun – they kind of remind me of the old wild west days of early satellite television. I’ve already wasted enormous amounts of time on this thing reminding me why getting rid of television was such a good move for me.

Thus far I’ve watched several episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, classic commercials, old Cary Grant movies, a live stream of the blizzard in New York, and cooking lessons on the preparation of monkfish.

Beach Walks with Rox were a nice little find.  While it wasn’t Maui, I did live in Hawaii as a child within walking distance of a beach nobody but me seemed to go to.

We left Hawaii shortly after Christmas one year and arrived on the mainland to what was a particularly harsh winter.  We drove from San Francisco to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan wearing what passed for winter coats in Honolulu.  I hadn’t experienced snow and certainly not snow of such magnitude.  The initial delight faded when the cold set into my thin bones.

We’ve had a white Christmas this year which has been aggravating, but pretty cool too.  It was nice having the day look like a Norman Rockwell painting.  But I’ve wearied of this now that I’m expected to resume something of a normal life.  My car has been at the bottom of the hill for 3 weeks.  My daily perambulation is getting old.

I’m certain a daily walk on a Maui beach never gets old. If you’re weary of snow, cold and winter, consider the video a small gift from me and Rox.

This is a busy week for me.  If I don’t do it later, let me wish a Hau’oli Makahiki Hou to y’all now.  [Translated:  Happy New Year] 

Love’s Pure Light

All is calm, all is bright.

I just got home after spending Christmas Eve with my folks. It was good. It was all good.

After dinner, but before my son arrived, I came back home to get gifts, check on the dogs, and enjoy a few moments alone. I sat under the tree (note the spiffy new Yak-Traks on my boots – I’m set for the hill now!) – it was a nice interlude – enjoying the calm before the storm of family frivolity – and the potential for drama.

As usual, I and everyone else have been running at 90 mph to get to this point – the point where you can just sit and take it all in.

My son arrived safely from Charlotte (I had fretted). I teased my brother and bonded some more with my sister-in-law. My great-nephews (sheesh, how can I be this old?) are just too cute. My nephew’s wife is ready to produce a baby boy any second. My dad, He-Who-Hates-Christmas, was positively jolly. My mom was exhausted and we managed to make her sit down and just be still. My son’s socks were knocked off by his grandfather’s gift. And did I mention my son brought hand-made truffles, a beautiful wine, and enough foie gras to keep me fat for a year? No? Well, he did. He also brought the puppies. Babette isn’t thrilled, but they are.

No drama this Christmas. All is calm.

Someday I'm going to have a camera that can handle this kind of shot.

Santa was very good to me. Santa is always very good to me.

As I walked back home, the promised snow was falling. I could see the twinkle lights in my kitchen window and the light shining from my son’s bedroom. All is bright.

We may or may not have a snow storm. The gentle flakes of this evening may be a snow-in tomorrow. And that’s fine too. I don’t have to go anywhere, I don’t want to go anywhere. All my people are safe and warm. Come Tuesday, HMO’Keefe will be here and I will have a second Christmas.

I am so blessed. I hope you are too. And may your night be silent while the snow falls and children dream.

I’m a flittery, fluttery, ADD elf.

Merry W. Va. Fur and Root

Yesterday, I started pulling stuff out of one of the closets-I’m-afraid-of with the intention of putting up, out, in or on every single Christmas-type decoration I owned.

Ahem. My ambition is admirable.

Today, I finished denuding the closet, trashed the kitchen, living-dining room, two halls, the staircase and the bay window in the process. I hauled out 4 contractor-sized garbage bags of Stuff-I’m-Never-In-A-Thousand-Years-Gonna-Use.

More of The Boy's Christmas Stuff

In doing all that, I ran across treasures I’d forgotten about – chiefly, the nativity set I “painted” for my son to put under his tree as well as the stuffed animals that lived in his tree’s branches.

[The story of “his” tree will have to be another post.]

The house was trashed and rather than attend to matters at hand, I ended up hanging forgotten dangly lights from the kitchen windows which means tomorrow I have to go in search of ribbon or fabric or something to give it a “finished” look as well as something for extension cord management. While looking for the extension cords, I ended up sort-of cleaning the laundry room and cleaning out the gift-wrap storage box. [You’ll note in the photo that I haven’t, actually, managed to put the decorations on the kitchen counter tree.]

As my dad would say, "Where's the stick?"

While all that was going on, the “big tree” was horizontal in the living room and I continued to flitter and flutter my ADD self about the house doing everything but attending to the mess in that room – a mess my dad would have commented on by saying, “Where’s the stick?” If I hadn’t heard that question several times a year since the year I was born, I might have responded with “What stick, Daddy?”

The stick you used to stir this mess up with.

I have gotten the tree vertical and the lights are all working without hours of futzing – a Christmas miracle. So, I’m cooking with gas now. I won’t finish it tonight, but I hadn’t expected to. Even so, the Barn is beginning to look very festive and I’m feeling virtuous with the dejunking I’ve done.

More importantly, I’m feeling very grateful for the life I’ve lived in which I’ve loved and been loved. Much of this stuff is imbued with memories that have kept me teary-eyed either from laughter or the bittersweet contemplation of people and times past. Decorating the “big tree” has always been a good-cry event. I’ve not even begun and the tears are flowing. If I get into the wine while unpacking the boxes littering the big room, I’m really going to be a spectacle.